regular vs feminized seeds

If you are new to growing cannabis you maybe wondering, should you go with feminized or regular cannabis seeds? This article aims to help you make that crucial decision by offering an in-depth comparison between the two. 

We’ll list the pros and cons of each, helping you decide which one’s your best match. Moreover, we’ll answer some burning questions: Who should grow which type of seed? Can you determine the sex of a seed just by looking? And, do these seeds grow differently? Get ready to acquire some solid knowledge, perfect for both novices and seasoned cultivators. So, let’s get growing!

What’s the difference between feminized and regular seeds?

Regular cannabis seeds are naturally occurring seeds that have a roughly 50/50 chance of growing into a male or female cannabis plant. On the other hand, feminized seeds are genetically modified to eliminate male chromosomes, ensuring that you get nearly 100% female plants. The reason we say nearly 100% is because you may occasionally get a rouge male among your crop, but that’s just nature.

This means growers using feminized seeds can plan for almost all plants to yield harvestable buds, given the right growing conditions.

Pros and cons of growing regular cannabis seeds


  • Genetic Diversity: Regular seeds offer a wider gene pool, which may result in more robust plants.
  • Breeding Potential: They’re essential if you plan to breed new strains of your own.
  • Cost: Regular seeds are a fraction of the price of feminized seeds making them by far the more cost effective way to grow from seed.


  • Uncertain Gender: You’ll need to identify and remove male plants to prevent them from pollinating females. This can sometimes tip the argument of cost effectiveness back in the favor of feminized seeds.
  • Space and Time: Regular seeds may require more resources since not all plants will yield buds.
  • Risk of pollination: If you don’t spot a male plant early enough, you run the risk of pollinating your entire crop and ruining all of your bud.

Pros and cons of growing feminized cannabis seeds


  • Guaranteed Females: Feminized seeds produce almost exclusively female plants, ensuring a harvestable yield.
  • Resource Efficiency: As all plants are likely to yield buds, you can use your space and resources more efficiently.


  • Limited Genetic Diversity: The breeding process of feminized seeds can limit their genetic diversity.
  • No Breeding: Feminized seeds are not suitable for breeders as they lack male plants necessary for pollination.
  • Cost: Feminized seeds have been modified to ensure that you get female plants every time and this means they cost a lot more.

Who should grow regular seeds?

Regular cannabis seeds are great for cultivators interested in creating their own cannabis strains, as they allow for the possibility of cross-breeding. You don’t have to be a breeder to be growing regular seeds though, any grower with a decent level of experience can also grow regular seeds, providing they are confident at spotting the early signs of male and female plants.

Regular seeds are also a good choice for those wanting to experiment with cultivation methods or work on their plant sexing skills. Growers planning to use cloning techniques might also prefer regular seeds, as they tend to produce more vigorous and resilient clones than their feminized counterparts. 

However, they may not be the best choice for novice growers due to the need for sex identification and the potential for wasted resources on unproductive male plants.

Who should grow feminized seeds?

Feminized cannabis seeds are an excellent choice for growers primarily focused on maximizing their harvest of usable flower. They almost guarantee a crop of female plants, so for anyone growing for bud and not for breeding they are great. If you are inexperienced it is best to start with feminized or autoflowering seeds to avoid the risk that male plants pose.

Furthermore, feminized seeds are ideal for indoor growers where space is at a premium, as every plant will be a female.

Can you tell what sex a seed is?

Identifying the sex of a cannabis seed by merely looking at it is a common a common topic debated on cannabis forums. But the simple answer is: No, you can’t tell the gender of a plant from the seed. Cannabis seeds don’t show any visible differences that indicate their sex. The sex of a cannabis plant is determined by the two chromosomes that every seed carries: male (XY) and female (XX). 

However, this information is enclosed within the seed and there is absolutely no way to tell until the plant reaches the pre-flowering stage. During this stage, male plants will develop pollen sacs while females will start forming calyxes and pistils. It’s only then, through careful observation, that growers can determine the sex of their plants.

Do regular seeds and feminized seeds grow differently?


The growth of cannabis plants from regular seeds versus feminized seeds does not significantly differ in the vegetative stage. Both types of seeds will germinate, sprout, and develop into mature plants in similar ways and under the same conditions. 

The distinction comes into play during the flowering stage. With regular seeds, you’ll end up with a mix of male and female plants. Male plants produce pollen sacs, while female plants produce flowers.

So, while the actual growth process remains relatively consistent, the results of your labor can be vastly different based on the seed type and gender of the plant.

Feminized vs Autoflower FAQ:

Are feminized seeds better for beginners?

Feminized seeds are an excellent choice for beginners due to the fact that you are likely to get an all female crop. This removes the complexity of identifying and separating male plants, which can be a challenging task for new growers.

Are feminized seeds 100% female?

While feminized seeds are designed to produce female plants, they aren’t 100% guaranteed to do so. Under normal conditions, they’re highly likely to be female and most breeders state they are 99% likely to grow females. However, stress can occasionally trigger a female plant to develop male characteristics which is called hermaphroditism.

Are feminized seeds harder to grow?

No feminized seeds grow in exactly the same way as regular seeds. It is only once they reach the flowering stage that the differences begin to occur. With feminized seeds you do not need to worry, but with regular seeds you will need to be able to spot a male plant. Therefore it could be said that regular seeds are harder to grow.

Can feminized plants turn male?

In extreme cases of stress, a feminized plant may develop male characteristics, a process known as hermaphroditism. This usually happens when the plant is exposed to adverse conditions like irregular light cycles, extreme temperatures, or physical damage.

Can feminized seeds turn into hermaphrodites?

Yes, under significant stress, feminized plants can become hermaphrodites, producing both male and female flowers. This typically occurs in response to severe environmental stressors, as the plant’s survival mechanism triggers it to self-pollinate.

How are feminized seeds made?

Feminized seeds are typically created by inducing a female plant to produce pollen, which is then used to pollinate another female. The resulting seeds will lack male chromosomes, ensuring they grow into female plants under normal conditions. Techniques to achieve this include the use of specific chemicals or controlled environmental stress.

In our journey through the landscape of feminized versus regular cannabis seeds, we’ve explored their differences, the pros and cons, and which type fits best for various growers. As a reader, you’ve gained insights to empower your next cannabis cultivation venture. 

Remember, your choice of seeds profoundly influences your grow’s outcome. Now you can make an informed decision tailored to your needs and growing conditions. Found this information useful? Don’t forget to like and share this article with other cannabis enthusiasts!


So, there you have it – your quick guide on feminized and regular cannabis seeds. Remember, choosing the right seed type depends on your personal cultivation goals and experience level. With this knowledge, you’re now equipped to make an informed choice for your next grow. If you found this article insightful, don’t forget to give it a like and share it with your fellow cultivators. Happy growing!

Joe Musgrave

An avid 420 enthusiast, grower, smoker and writer. Joe writes non stop, sharing his extensive knowledge in the field of cannabis with the wider online 420 community through blogs like ours at High Yield Strains.

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